Court report

MOTHERS WHO have child after child removed into care were the subject of an event at Bristol Justice Centre last week which was reported by Family Law and Child Protection Resource. Over half of mothers that face repeated returns to the family court have been in care themselves, according to Lancashire social work professor Karen Broadbent. Georgina Perry spoke about the Pause project – which aimed to help women avoid having to face repeat care proceedings. But blogger Surviving Safeguarding, whose children and herself had been in care, said she was “uneasy” about the project, specifically its requirement for the mothers involved to take long-term birth control.

AS NATIONAL Adoption Week came to a close on Sunday the British Association of Social Workers reminded us of their UK-wide enquiry to consider the role of social work in adoption. “Whilst adoption can provide safe, secure and loving care for some children, the current focus has raised questions, particularly in relation to the non-consensual nature of many adoptions, and its promotion in the context of austerity and cuts to early help, and family support,” the organisation said. In the run-up to the week Amanda Boorman of the post adoption peer support charity The Open Nest wrote more bluntly in Community Care about how the celebrations of National Adoption Week were often difficult to square with some of the experiences of parents they speak to. “We can all agree there is a clear agenda in adoption policy and National Adoption Week is PR and marketing for that agenda,” she said.

OFSTED CHIEF Sir Michael Wilshaw wrote to HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Sir Tom Winsor to warn of his growing concern about police forces’ failures to take their child protection duties seriously. The problems varied between forces, with Cleveland causing the greatest worry. In Bromley inspectors found there were delays in reporting when a child in care had gone missing which meant it was unclear whether the child had returned home or still had to be traced. Elsewhere a failure by police officers to accompany social workers on home visits resulted in a delay in children at risk of immediate harm coming into care.

AGAINST THE backdrop of another set of convictions against child abusers in Rotherham, the University of Bedfordshire’s Jenny Lloyd argues that the perspective of geographers could help research into tackling child sexual exploitation. “When we think about where child sexual exploitation (CSE) happens we might find ourselves thinking about specific towns and cities – particularly when there has been lots of media attention on these locations. But abuse happens everywhere, and there is far more to ‘place’ than these associations would suggest,” she says. “As researchers and practitioners we need to understand where abuse is happening, but also why is it happening there and how those places are part of the explanation.”

BARNARDOS REMINDED fostering services of the support they offer fostering teams, that are looking after children of offenders, via this new briefing on the i-Hop scheme.

MEANWHILE BLOGGER Lee Harvey Heath writes from a personal perspective about foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and tells us why so many people with FASD end up in prison. “FASD is brain damage, irreversible brain damage, and many of those with FASD have been in care,” he writes. “Many of these individuals exposed to alcohol before birth are born addicted to alcohol or drugs. They are also vulnerable, not always knowing right from wrong, with the inability to think about consequences.”

THE TRANSPARENCY project summed up the facts about care proceedings that emerged from what was to be a private law case about custody of a seven year old boy whose gender identity was being disputed by his parents. The case prompted a Christian charity to publicise the case of a couple concerned that social services would take away their teenage daughter if they refused to let her identify as a boy.

AND FINALLY Suddenly Mummy reminds us that in contrast to advice from her fostering provider the role of short term foster carer is “not like any other parent” in a recent blog.

One thought on “Court report

  1. Pingback: Uncertain futures | This Week in Fostering

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